Our annual Father’s Day Weekend trip began yesterday with dinner at the iconic Straight Wharf restaurant.

We had lunch here years ago with Kay and Steve, but somehow we missed returning over the past several visits to Nantucket.

Wharfside Dining

We approached the front room where we’d had lunch years before and a young lady directed us to the back and into a beautiful dining room I never knew existed.

The Entrance to Straight Wharf Nantucket

The seaside doors were open to the harbor and a gentle breeze flowed through the room.

I was truly impressed by the actual candle burning at our table…

Prix Fixe…

Before we arrived I checked the menu (as I always do), and discovered it was now a Prix Fixe menu…

Given the struggles restaurants are having getting and paying good help these days, this makes a ton of sense. It assures a decent size check for each table and thus good tips for the servers.

The Straight Wharf has also instituted an additional 2% service charge for the back of the house staff…

With so many restaurants failing under the pandemic lockdowns, it’s very important to balance the books. I’m not sure about the 2% surcharge versus raising prices, but I’m okay paying more either way.

The Food

As a general rule, I consider Prix Fixe as a long list of Chef’s Specials and I expect every dish to be great.

Straight Wharf did not disappoint, beginning with complementary hors d’oeuvre plate…

Smoked Blue Fish – The Straight Wharf Nantucket

As soon as I saw this I knew we’d be getting more than our money’s worth. This was a perfectly composed restaurant appetizer and even the little toast points were works of art.

Mrs. Horne ordered the Duck Liver Mousse as her starter…

Duck Liver Pate – The Straight Wharf Nantucket

The special twist on this dish was the garnish – Rhubarb Mustard, Caramelized Pistachio, Green Almonds, and House Pickles. The sourdough toast was perfectly grilled and served warm.

I ordered the Five Grey Lady Iced Oysters…

The Five Grey Lady Iced Oysters- The Straight Wharf Nantucket

I love it when high end restaurants break away from cocktail sauce and create a special accoutrement. In the case of The Straight Wharf, it was the Celery Purée topping. It doesn’t hurt to have perfectly shucked, moist, and plump oysters as the platform.

Mrs. Horne selected the Day Boat Scallops as her second…

Yet another truly special creation. Mrs. Horne loved the Sunchoke Purée and how can you go wrong with potatoes, bacon, and sweet cippolini onions?

As you may have guessed, I went with the Wood Grilled Ribeye…

The Wood Grilled Ribeye- The Straight Wharf Nantucket

I’m always nervous when the kitchen cuts my ribeye – far too often it drains the juices and lets the steak cool too quickly.

That was not the case at The Straight Wharf. Despite the extensive list of special accoutrements, it tasted like a great ribeye steak frites (with roasted potatoes rather than fries.)

Worth $75 pp?

The Straight Wharf takes it up another notch in the presentation of the cheque…

If I were to back into my bill on an ala carte basis for a fine dining restaurant on an island I could imagine the following:

  • Blue Fish Hor dOeuvre – $10
  • Five Oysters – $20
  • Ribeye Steak – $55

That adds up to $85 which is what my Prix Fixe meal cost ($10 up-charge for ribeye). I think the price is justified. My only issue would be that it does not allow for meal splitting and Mrs. Horne and I do that a lot.

Still for special dinner, $300 isn’t outrageous and this truly was a special meal.

The 8th Grade Server Myth Debunked

You may have heard the story last week and the Nantucket restaurant that is being forced to hire 8th graders due to the labor shortage…

I interviewed several employees and none were in the 8th grade! There were two lovely young ladies refilling our water glasses and both were college sophomores.

An unnamed source familiar with the situation told me a chef had made actually made the comment, but it was meant to be an exaggeration.

So the story is not FAKE NEWS, but it has been DEBUNKED!